Doctor Appointments- How to Prepare: When Ginger Modiri heard her doctor utter the words “you have cancer,” she was struck with temporary hearing loss. While she could see the doctor’s lips moving, she could not hear the words he was saying. Fortunately, Modiri had brought along her husband and two adult children who were able to hear the doctor’s words.
Four years later, having overcome breast cancer, Modiri learned she might be suffering from glaucoma. What she thought was a routine eye exam ended with a doctor telling her to meet with a glaucoma specialist. However, this time, Modiri was prepared and knew how to prepare for her upcoming appointments.
Many people feel there is no need to prepare for a doctor appointment. You show up, a doctor runs some tests, you receive a prescription, and you are on your way. However, there are many things a person should do to prepare for a doctor visit. Read below to learn how you can prepare for your next visit:
Doctor Appointments- Prep Tip #1: Don’t Go Alone
Having an extra set of eyes and ears at a doctor appointment can help you further understand your diagnosis. When Modiri first met with a glaucoma specialist, her daughter accompanied her with a pen and notepad in hand. Family members or close friends can help ask the questions you might not think to ask. So next time you are headed to your next doctor appointment, consider reaching out to a loved one to accompany you.
Doctor Appointments- Prep Tip #2: Get a Second Opinion
At her first appointment, Modiri’s glaucoma specialist suggested she book surgery for her glaucoma immediately. However, Modiri’s daughter, whom was conveniently researching glaucoma on behalf of a pharmaceutical company, was skeptical of the doctor’s advice. Modiri’s daughter encouraged her to get a second opinion, which resulted in a specialist telling her no surgery was necessary. Seeking the second opinion of a doctor can help bring peace of mind and may help you avoid any unnecessary and expensive medical procedures. If you are not convinced by a doctor’s diagnosis, reach out to another specialist.
Doctor Appointments- Prep Tip #3: Take Notes
In order to get the most out of your doctor appointment, you must understand everything that is discussed during the visit. If a relative or close friend is not available to accompany you, ask your doctor if you may record the session so you may listen back at a later time. Not all offices will allow sessions to be recorded, so it is important to have an alternative plan. Ask if a nurse is available to take notes for you. If one is not, let your doctor know you will need time at the end of your appointment to review all information discussed and take down necessary notes.